Will my spouse be required to pay my attorney's fees?

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Not necessarily. Illinois law regarding payment of attorney's fees is complex. There are two main types of awards:
interim awards and contribution awards.

  • Interim awards of attorney's fees are those that are temporary awards - they are made while a case is still pending.
  • Contribution awards are awards made at the conclusion of a case.
    The Illinois law regarding attorney's fees is often referred to as the "Leveling the Playing Field" statute although it is actually a series of provisions effecting the payment of attorney's fees in divorce cases. The goal of the statute is to allow each side in a divorce case to have equal access to legal representation. Additionally, if a court order is violated and the spouse seeking to enforce the order is forced to incur attorney's fees and costs, the court should order that the fees and costs be reimbursed to the enforcing party upon a finding that the individual violating the court order did so without compelling legal cause or justification.

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